Archive for July, 2009

The Open Championship Final Rd

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Stewart Cink captured the British Open, or if you prefer the Open Championship in 2009
Was it a well earned victory, yes absolutely, did Tom Watson choke, probably but have your ever done it, have I absolutely. Stewart Cink wins his first major in 2nd place it was Tom Watson both officially scored at 278. At T3 was Chris Wood and Lee Westwood at 279. Luke Donald, Retief Goosen and Mathew Goggin were T5 at 280. The quad of Ernie Els, Soren Hansen, Justin Leonard and Thomas Aiken were T8 with a 281 and that rounded out the top 10.

I knew when he choked with the putt at 18 he was going to lose the playoff, certainly never on the scale of a British Open but I know what it feels like to have a an 8-10 footer on the line and come up short. He had history in his grasp and he was well aware of it, he wanted it, you could see it in his eyes but that was not a gimme putt either, Stewart Cink earned his victory and Tom Watson did the best he could. Congratulations Stewart Cink.

Shout out to John Daly for the 2nd day in a row, finishing the tournament at 4 over with a 284, 2 over on the final day for a T27 finish.

The Open Championship Round 3

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Tom Watson’s amazing run continued today, he remains the sole leader after 54 holes of play with a stroke total of 206. It was evident that his bunker play and touch around the greens has diminished little and however unlikely the dream may seem to be, I have to pull for him tomorrow. Tied for second one stroke back at 207 are Mathew Goggin and Ross Fisher. Lee Westwood and Retief Goosen share the T4 spot at 208. At T6 set Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink at 209 and are the last currently under par. At T8 and even par are Bryce Molder and Thongchai Jaidee at 210. There are four players T10 to round out the top ten, Richard S. Johnson, Boo Weekley, Angel Cabrera and Steve Marino all at 1 over par 211.

Marino had a bad day with a triple at 15, 2 doubles, 4 bogeys, 3 birdies and an eagle. The triple at the par 3, 15th was painful to watch but it was good that the officials took the time to determine that the rules were followed and that he be given the chance to exercise all his options. He is still in contention and with a championship on the line he should have been given every opportunity to make the right decision, which I think he did as hitting from there or the two club length drop into the thigh high rough would have been fruitless at best. The delay didn’t seem to bother Watson who had an eighteen minute wait from the time he hit his tee shot until he got to take his 2nd from the bunker.

The Brits have Lee Westwood heavily favored, but in my opinion and with the weather to be just as windy tomorrow I think anyone within five shots has an even chance. I really hope that Mr. Watson can hang on though it will have been 32 years since his victory at Turnberry back in 1977.

Shout out to John Daly who is T14 at 2 over par 212. His problems have been well publicized but he has made tremendous effort to return to the sport and get his life back on track.

The Open Championship Round 2

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Round 2 is in the books, tied for 1st place it’s Tom Watson and Steve Marino. Both outstanding golfers to be sure, but what an unlikely pair to be leading, the aging veteran and the stand-by who got in when Katayama had to withdrawal due to injury. Good luck gentleman I wish you both luck this weekend. Alone in 3rd place another aging vet Mark Calcavecchia one stroke back at 136. At T4 it is Ross Fisher, Retief Goosen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Kenichi Kuboya and Vijay Singh all with 137. Rounding out the top ten at T9 are JB Holmes, Mark Kingston, Lee Westwood, Stewart Cink and Mathew Goggin they’re posted scores are at 138.

The lowest 70 scores and ties made the cut at 144. Some of those failing to make the cut were Tiger Woods, Ben Curtis, Mike Weir, Colin Montgomerie, Todd Hamilton, Charley Hoffman, DJ Trahan, Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark, KJ Choi, Anthony Kim, John Sneden, Martin Laird, David Toms, Rory Sabbatini, David Duval, Rod Pampling, Bubba Watson, Stephen Ames, Dustin Johnson, Greg Norman, Geoff Ogilvy, Nick Faldo, Hunter Mahan and Carl Pettersson.

Tiger has only missed the cut in 3 major championship’s, the first has an amateur in the ’96 Masters, the 2nd at the 2006 U.S. Open and now the 3rd at the 2009 British Open or “The Open Championship” as it is now dubbed. Since turning pro he has only missed 5 cuts total in his career.

The shot of the day will have to be the 50 footer on 18 which gave Watson the tie for the lead. Tee times for the top 10 are at 3PM BST Watson and Marino, 2:50 Calcavecchia and Fisher, 2:40 Goosen and Jimenez, 2:30 Kuboya and Singh, 2:20 JB Holmes and Mark Kingston, 2:10 Westood and Cink and at 2:00 Goggin and Kaymer.

The Open Championship Round 1

Friday, July 17th, 2009

On Wednesday the talk amongst the players was that if the weather stayed the same would someone finally break 63 in a major. The 63 has been accomplished 23 times but never broken. It wasn’t broken Thursday either but “The Mechanic” Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 64 to lead round 1. In T2 it was Kenichi Koboya and Tom Watson with a pair of 65’s. In T4 it is Steve Stricker, Camilo Villegas, Stewart Cink, John Sneden and Mathew Goggin with 1st round 66’s. At T9 sets Steve Marino, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Boo Weekely, Jim Furyk, Brandon Grace and Mark Calcavecchia all with 67’s to their credit.

Evidently something about Turnberry appeals to Tom Watson because it was at the same course where Watson and Nicklaus had their famed “Duel in the Sun” back in ’77 when Watson closed with 3rd and 4th rounds scores of 65/65 while Nicklaus posted 65/66. Reportedly Nicklaus called Watson to congratulate him upon completion of his round. It’s nice to legends compete on the global stage but even nicer when they are competitive, I must admit that I hadn’t even considered Mr. Watson to be a contender this year. I did have Sneden, Stricker and Marino on my fantasy team this week but I believe I started Sneden on the bench, I may need to rethink that strategy but I’ll wait until the 2nd round scores are posted to decide.

It was good to see Boo and JB Holmes with good 1st round scores. JB shot a 68 although he didn’t make the top 10 he just barely missed it. Tiger struggled with 4 bogeys and 3 birdies to post a 71.

Scottish like weather is in the forecast with colder temps and big wind. The early tee times today could make a big difference provided they get off to a good start. Three players have won back to Open’s those being Harrington, Watson and Trevino, while it is still early it is unlikely Harrington will get his hat trick and win three in a row he just hasn’t been playing that well this year although his 1st round 69 has him in the running.
Sources: Reuters, PGA Tour and The Golf Channel

AT&T National Final Round

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Host Tiger Woods wins the AT&T National with a final round 67 to post a 13 under par 267 for the tournament. In 2nd place was Hunter Mahan who tied the course record today with an 8 under par 62 to finish at 12 under par 268. 3rd place went to Anthony Kim who shot a 1 over par 71 to finish at 9 under par 271. In 4th place was Bryce Molder who shot 2 under par 68 to finish at 8 under par 272. In the T5 spot was Brandt Snedeker and Lucas Glover at 7 under par 273. Rounding out the top ten in T7 was the quad of Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, Danny Lee and Cameron Beckman who all finished the tournament 6 under par 274.

Tiger’s only bogey came at 11, a hole he struggled with the entire tournament but he made a lengthy birdie putt at 16 that sealed the victory. Hunter Mahan may have started the day at T16 but he is the only player to finish every round sub 70, it wasn’t good enough for the win but in a game where consistency pays off at 69/69/68/62 he has a lot to be proud of. Kim held his poise and even though he finished the day at 1 over, a final round 71 with 2 birdies, 3 bogeys and 13 pars is pretty respectable when paired with Tiger Woods. Although Bryce Molder shot even par 70 in rounds 2 and 3 he never fell out of the top ten with his 1st round 64 and final round 68, not bad for a man who has made 6 cuts out of 11 attempts the entire year in the big league but out of those 6 cuts has 5 top 25’s to go with it, and has clawed his way up to 64th in Fed-Ex cup points and in my opinion earned a place on the PGA Tour.

Key stats for the tournament are as follow:
Scoring Average – Tiger Woods at 66.75, field average was 70.91
Driving Distance – Robert Garrigus 317.6, yards field average was 295.1
Driving Accuracy – Martin Laird 87.5%, field average was 64.49%
Greens in Regulation – Charles Warren 79.17%, field average was 65.32%
Scrambling – Ryan Moore 81.48 %, field average was 52.88%
Putts per Round – Jim Furyk 27.25 with the field average at 29.9
11 played the toughest and 16 the easiest.
The winners final stat averages were T1 in eagles with 1, T3 in birdies with 18, T22 in pars with 47, 75th in bogeys with 5, T26 in double bogeys with 1, T7 in driving accuracy at 73.2%, 4th in driving distance at 312.4, T13 in putts per round with 28.5, T3 in putts per GIR with 1.673, T3 in GIR at 76.4% and T33 in sand saves at 50%.
Too bad they don’t carry a stat on longest drive, and I don’t know that his was the longest drive but Hunter Mahan hit a drive 356 yards on the long par 4 at the 6th in round 3 that was pretty sweet. His final average on driving distance was 3rd at 312.6 yards.

The next tournament will be the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Il July 09-12, followed by the British Open Championship (The Open as it is dubbed now) which will be played at Turnberry, Scotland this year and the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee both July 16-19.

Congratulations to Tiger Woods who accomplished his goal to be a “greedy host” and win his own tournament.
Sources: PGATour.com, The Golf Channel & CBS Sports
Opinions: Mine

AT&T National Round 3

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Well those who were wanting to see the Tiger Woods/Anthony Kim pairing for a Sunday showdown got their wish. T1 after 3 rounds of play with scoring averages of 66.67 at 10 under par, Kim shot a 2 under par 68 today while Woods was even par at 70. At T3 are Michael Allen and Cameron Beckman who are 1 back at 9 under par. Jim Furyk and Rod Pampling are 8 under par in the T5 spot, alone in 7th place sits Lucas Glover at 7 under and rounding out the top ten in T8 are Ryuji Imada, Cliff Kresge, Ryan Moore, Danny Lee and Bryce Molder all at 6 under par.

Stats: Anthony Kim/Tiger Woods Scoring Average 66.67, Driving Distance Davis Love III at 317.8, Driving Accuracy Martin Laird 92.86%, Greens in Regulation Charles Warren 81.48%, Scrambling Ryan Moore at 90% and Putts per Round Mark Wilson at 26. 11 is still playing the toughest and 16 the easiest.

Tiger should feel pretty good walking away with a share of the lead after the up and down day he had. A double bogey, 2 bogeys, 2 birdies and an eagle, the double came at 11 a hole which appears to have him stumped with a bogey in round 1 and 2 and the double in round 3. Kim had two bogeys and four birdies to gain the two strokes to tie. I wonder if the cockiness of youth can keep the intimidation factor at bay. I recommend swaggering onto the course tomorrow in a red Nike shirt and black slacks; they do share the Nike sponsorship although I’m sure Tiger has the better deal.

Sunday pairings and tee times for the top ten:
Woods/Kim 2:20
Allen/Beckman 2:10
Furyk/Pampling 2:00
Glover/Imada 1:50
Kresge/Moore 1:40
Lee/Molder 1:30

Sources: PGATour.com. The Golf Channel, CBS Sports
Opinions: Mine

AT&T National Round 2

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Tiger Woods took the lead at the turn this morning and remains the leader in the clubhouse at 10 under par for the tournament, his effort today was a 4under par 66. In 2nd place is Rod Pampling who shot a 6 under par 64 to make his two day total 9 under par. Alone in 3rd place is Anthony Kim who shot even par 70 today and is still at 8 under for the tournament and also alone in 4th stands Jim Furyk whose 3 under par 67 leaves him at 7 under par after two rounds of play. At T5 is the trio of Bryce Molder, D.A. Points and Daniel Chopra whose 2 day effort leave them at a 6 under par 134. Five players are T8 to round out the top ten, those being Stuart Appleby, Lucas Glover, Danny Lee, Ryan Moore and Cameron Beckman for a two day total of 135 at 5 under par.

The cut was set at 2 over par 142 and includes all those players at T63 or better. Some players who failed to make the cut are: Bill Haas, Paul Azinger, Charles Howell III, Vaughn Taylor, Charlie Wi, John Mallinger, Jason Day, Pat Perez, KJ Choi, Freddy Funk, Jason Gore, Billy Mayfair and Kevin Na.

In the stat department the leader Tiger Woods leads in Scoring Average with a 65, is 2nd in Driving Distance at 316, 3rd in Putts per GIR at 1.607, and is T7 in Greens in Regulation at 77.8. Charley Hoffman leads the way in Driving Distance at 316.8 yards, Martin Laird in Driving Accuracy at 96.43%, Davis Love III led in Greens in Regulation with 86.11%, Boo Weekley leads in Scrambling at 88.89% and Mark Wilson leads in Putts per Round with a 25.5 average the past two days. The hardest hole continues to be 11 (TW has bogeyed it both days) and the easiest is still 16.

Saturday pairings and tee times for the top 10 are: 1:50PM Tiger Woods/Rod Pampling, 1:40PM Anthony Kim/Jim Furyk, 1:30PM Bryce Molder/D.A. Points, 1:20PM Daniel Chopra/Stuart Appleby and 1:10PM Lucas Glover/Danny Lee.

A lot of the talk has been the Tiger Woods/Anthony Kim matchup but we will have to wait and see if that pans out for Sunday now. Still a lot of golf to be played and we have seen that it is possible to go low at Congressional, Scott McCarron and Steve Marino both shot 5 under par 65’s today and put themselves back into the thick of it after posting 1st round scores that had some wondering if they would make the cut. So anyone out of that top 10 or within maybe 8 shots of the lead can still win this thing. Televised coverage moves from the Golf Channel to CBS Saturday beginning at 3PM.

Whether they end up in the final group Sunday or not it would be interesting to see TW/AK paired together Sunday. I’d like to see how Kim handles the pressure since turning his game around. But maybe that’s just me.
Sources: PGATour.com, The Golf Channel, Reuters
Opinions: Mine

AT&T National Round 1

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Anthony Kim shot a course record 62 at Congressional CC, to take the first round lead. Three players are two strokes back at 6 under par 64, those being D.A. Points, Bryce Molder and Tiger Woods in the T2 spot. Standing alone in 5th position is Steve Elkington who is at 5 under par 65. At T6 are Daniel Chopra, Jim Furyk and Stuart Appleby with 4 under par 66. To round out the top ten are five players at T9 all with 3 under par 67’s to their credit, those players are Justin Rose, Boo Weekley, Michael Allen, Rod Pampling and Y.E. Yang.

Bubba Watson withdrew and some players struggling are Will MacKenzie, Brett Quigley, KJ Choi who won the inaugural event in 2007, John Merrick, Jason Day, Jason Gore and Vaughn Taylor.

AK’s stats were pretty impressive as one might imagine with a course record, he is driving the ball 298 yards, T1 in Greens in Regulation at 94.4% and 4th in putting with 1.529 putts per GIR, he also leads in Scrambling with 100% and of course 1st in scoring average with a 62. Steve Lowery led the field in Driving Distance with a very long 321.5 yards, Scott McFarron hit every fairway for a Driving Accuracy of 100%, Jim Furyk leads the way in putting with 24 putts for his round today. The toughest hole proved to be 11 and the easiest was the 16th.

Vaughn Taylor while he may not have had a stellar day scoring wise did have the shot of the day with a sweet chip for birdie at 18. That video can be seen at pgatour.com as well as replays of Anthony Kim and Tiger Woods. Pity they were not playing together but they very well could be Saturday. AK played in the morning while Woods played in the afternoon. Friday Woods group that includes Lucas Glover and Charley Hoffman tees off on the 10th at 8:12 while Kim’s group that includes Jim Furyk and Davis Love III tees off on 1 at 12:50.

It is good to see Kim playing well he hasn’t had a tour win in a year and is the defending champion for the tournament. With the exception of the Ryder Cup he has been more down than up since. Perhaps it is the exuberance of youth? He definitely however has found something about Congressional in Bethesda, MD., that suits his eye. Woods who is the tournament host has never won his own tournament, but remember that he didn’t play last year because of the knee surgery if he has his mind set on winning he will be very hard to stop and in my opinion Kim will have to keep that youthful exuberance tempered if he wants to repeat. Should be interesting to watch.
Sources: PGATour.com, The Golf Channel
Opinions as always are mine and mine alone.

AT&T National

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

While not a star studded event I’ve been looking forward to this tournament. Played at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda MD, this is what the field looks like:
Top tens
Fed-Ex Cup: Tiger Woods, Sean O’Hair, Lucas Glover and Nick Watney
PGA Tour Money list: Same as above
Official World Golf Rankings: TW, Paul Casey, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk

2009 Winners not previously mentioned: Pat Perez, Mark Wilson and Y.E. Yang

Majors Winners not previously mentioned: Lee Janzen, Todd Hamilton, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Steve Elkington, Freddy Couples, Corey Pavin, Paul Azinger and Rich Beem

International Players (not inclusive and not mentioned previously): Stuart Appleby, Nick O’Hern, Mathew Goggin, Rod Pampling, Aaron Baddely, Robert Allenby, Peter Lonard, John Sneden, Nathan Green, Jason Day, James Nitties, Matt Hill, Justin Rose, Brian Davis, Greg Owen, Alex Cejka, KJ Choi, Charlie Wi, Danny Lee, Martin Laird, Daniel Chopra, Frederick Jacobsen and Richard S Johnson

Young Guns (not previously mentioned): Webb Simpson, Anthony Kim, Chris Stroud, Kevin Na, Brandt Snedeker, Ricky Barnes, Steve Marino, Nicholas Thompson, Johnson Wagner, Ryan Moore, Troy Matteson, Jeff Overton, John Mallinger, Aron Price, Michael Letzig, Chez Reavie, Hunter Mahan, John Merrick, Charles Howell III, Bill Haas, Billy Horschel and Matt Hill

Grizzled Vets (not previously mentioned): Cliff Kresge, Jeff Maggert, Chris DiMarco, Billy Mayfair, Bart Bryant, Steve Flesch, Rocco Mediate, Tim Petrovick, Steve Lowery, Scott McCarron, Bob Estes, Tom Pernice Jr, Michael Allen, Paul Goydos, Olin Browne, Greg Kraft and Freddy Funk

Congressional Country Club – Bethesda, Md
Original architect: Devereut Emmet (1924)
Course redesign: Rees Jones (1984)
Par: 70
Has hosted 3 tour events (Including 2009)
Ranked 27th out of 54 for difficulty
Yardage: 7,255
Grass: Bentgrass (tees, fairways, greens); Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermudagrass, perennial ryegrass, fescue (rough); Poa annua (greens)
Stimpmeter: 12 ft
102 Sand Bunkers and 5 water hazards
Course Record 63 held by Tom Pernice Jr. 2008, 2nd round and Peter Lonard 2008 4th round
2 aces Corey Pavin on the 10th in 2008 and Kevin Stadler on the 13th in 2007
Most Difficult is the 11th a converted par 5, has an elevated tee that overlooks a tight landing area that slopes from left to right. Bunkers frame the right hand side. Any 2nd shot has to be accurate to negotiate the connect water hazard on the right and bunkers on the left. 2008: 0 eagles, 27 birdies, 250 pars, 83 bogeys, 23 double bogeys and 5 others.
Easiest hole is the 16th but few players will reach it in 2 as the drive must be hit into the face of a hill. The 2nd requires avoiding the bunkers on the right, on the approach as well as a huge bunker on the left and trees on the right. 2008: 3 eagles, 128 birdies, 239 pars, 17 bogeys, 1 double bogey and 0 others.
Source: PGATour.com

Course origins: Congressional Country Club was established in 1924. A group of legislators met in 1921 and decided the best way to break down the barrier between them and the country was through the formation of a country club and to invite, as co-members, professional businessmen from around the country. Today, the club membership is more family oriented. Some of the original founding members include Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding, Woodrow Wilson, William H. Taft, Harvey S. Firestone, William C. Carnegie, William Randolph Hearst and Walter P. Chrysler.

The club has quite a history with tournament golf, playing host to the 1964 U.S. Open, 1976 PGA Championship, Kemper Open from 1980-1986, 1995 U.S. Senior Open and the 1997 U.S. Open. Congressional will also host the 2009 U.S. Amateur and the 2011 U.S. Open. —Source: Golf Course Superintendents Association of America